Bob’s Discount Furniture has opened in Norridge.

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Bob’s Discount Furniture of Norridge, recently opened at 4215 N. Harlem Ave., is one furniture store trying to sweeten the deal.

The 164-store national chain’s local outlet has its own cafe with coffee, cookies, candies and five flavors of ice cream to entice shoppers.

In-store retail may have had a tough time with the onslaught of online shopping and the pandemic. But the influx of businesses into the Harlem Irving Plaza area has kept Norridge’s business base bustling with Bob’s the newest arrival. .

Founded as a chain in 1991 and not entering the Chicago market until 2017, Bob’s has focused on Norridge as a retail destination.

Moving into a 30,000 square foot leased space adjoining Amazon Fresh and Ross clothing stores on a former Kmart site, Bob’s is filling a void for home furnishings in the market. Norridge Village President Daniel Tannhauser, who recently chaired several store openings, only remembers a small, family-owned furniture store that once operated on the corner of Harlem and Cullom.

“We saw Norridge as a good in-between market, being about 25 to 30 minutes from our closest stores (in Skokie and Schaumburg),” said Scott Bunish, Bob’s area vice president, Midwest.

“Market research has shown that the surrounding area is well profiled for our customers and this location will make it easier for them to visit our store. Overall, Norridge is a strong retail market and we are delighted to be part of the tenant mix.

Bob’s sells furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, children’s rooms, home offices, and outdoor patios and yards. It also offers mattresses and accessories, as well as bed frames, box springs and box springs.

Interior decoration is also featured with pillows, rugs, bedding, lamps, mirrors and wall decorations.

Prices range from a collection of Bettie sofas starting at $499 for the loveseat, to a luxurious Milan power reclining sectional that tops out at $5,299, Bunish said.

Home furnishings have done well during the pandemic as housebound consumers focused on revamping their homes once they had a good look around, Bob officials said. About the only line that stabilized was home office furniture as more workers return to the office as the pandemic subsides, said regional manager John Stowell, who helps the store manager Jose Arteaga to get the point of sale off the ground.

The technology features in some products, such as recliners.

“There’s a magazine in the armrest,” Stowell said. “Some have reading lights…some have lumbar support that you can adjust with the push of a button. We’ve had motors and knobs for five to eight years where power is the focus.

There’s also an app where shoppers can scan a room in their home, then click on different types of furniture to see an augmented reality version of how that piece of furniture looks in the room. Shoppers are also encouraged to save furniture to Bob’s website shopping cart and then show the cart to a salesperson once they arrive at the store, Bunish said.

When complete, the new Bob’s will employ 30 people, with an additional 20 jobs created to maintain the store, Stowell said. The store is still accepting applications on mybobs.com.

Tannhauser said the process of onboarding a new retailer typically takes about six months from start to finish.

“We will welcome any kind of (reputable) store we can get,” he said. “We will generally work with anyone. Any store we bring in also creates jobs. Norridge lives and dies on our tax base.

Bob’s also contributes to local organizations in the communities it serves. At the grand opening, the company presented checks for $2,500 each to Kids Above All and Casa Central.

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